[Me on the steps…working hard.]
As a blogger I get tons of mail. It’s mostly fan letters, notes of congratulations, invitations to weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers, dedications at mall openings and the occasional bris. But I also get questions.
“Gee, Pat (I’m an informal kind of guy), what do you do when you’re not working on a blog post?”
“Gosh, Pat, you must spend most of your waking hours living inside your head. That must be awesome and exciting!” I didn’t have the heart to tell that fan that living inside my head is no picnic. There are dark corners in my brain that I try avoid. I know this because my insomnia forces me to confront the demons. My nightmares are real and full of things that crawl on the ground and hiss and spit.
“Golly, Pat, your life as a blogger must so exciting and so totally awesome.” I didn’t have the heart to tell the fan that my blogs often go unnoticed.
But I digress.
I am actually a very active guy. True, I may spend weeks in bed waiting for the mosquitoes to die off. But, on cool days when the breeze is steady and strong off the lake, I search for something to do around the house…outside that is. One of the drawbacks to owning a home in the North Country is that there is never anything to do. I mowed the lawn a few times last summer. I stacked wood for about thirty-five minutes. I swept the floor of the garage. A couple times each summer, I put the ladder up against the house and I climb onto the roof. I have Mariam pass up my favorite tool, the leaf-blower. Then I attack the rain gutter to clear out the muck and pine needles.
Such a feeling of power to send clods of gunk sailing off into the trees. It gives additional meaning to my life.
A few days ago, I decided it was time to apply a coat of Thompson’s WaterSeal to the railings and steps of our rear deck. I gathered the rags, sander, the can of Thompson’s, the extension cord, my mask, a pair of ear protecters and a bandanna to keep the dust out of my hair.
The bandanna was orange.
To fully understand how intense this project is, I will simply say that I have fairly serious issues with my lower back. My L3, L4 and L5 are held together with gossamer threads.
“Gosh, Pat, it’s age appropiate arthritis, said my doctor.”
I fully understood that once the work was done (it took almost six hours) that I would barely be able to walk across the room without looking like Qusimodo or the Elephant Man. (Full disclosure: it hurt like bloody hell at the end of the day).
As I was working my way down the stairs, step by step, my hand sander suddenly came apart. Luckily, I had a spare so the work never stopped. This was a good thing because it was proof to Mariam that for a skilled laborer such as myself (and for all handymen) that when it comes to tools, one should always have two of everything.
Later that night, after a couple of Ibuprofen, I was able to move about without actually crawling on the carpet. The railings are good for another two years.
So, that’s how a blogger spends time when not sitting at a laptop. Although, for me, even hunched over a keyboard can cause pain.
If you read this post and click ‘like’, then I will get better. That’s the way it works. My health is actually in your hands.
Use the power wisely.
Myself, I just hired someone to stain the decks, weedwack the side meadow and power wash the rest. I cannot do physical labor and dont want to. But I still hurt at the end of the day. But yesterday I went back to gin and gave up the Percoset for my leg. Hopefully the 15 stables come out on Thursday. Then I can give up the daily ration of Tylenol. Fortunately, the bug presence around here has been low so far, despite the above normal rainfall. Moses at least mows the yard